The Commission meets the Irish Presidency in Dublin
On Thursday morning, the College of Commissioners met with the Irish cabinet to discuss their shared priorities over the next six months of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU. President Barroso also met bilaterally with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
President Barroso stressed the need to lay the foundations for lasting growth and job creation. The time for taking emergency decisions should be over, the doomsday scenario of a break-up of the euro area which many were foretelling has not come to pass, he said, but there is still no room for complacency.
"We must complete the repair of the financial sector, pursue fiscal consolidation, enact economic reforms for competitiveness and make targeted investments while being attentive to the very serious social situation in several of our Member States. I welcome the fact that Ireland has placed stability, growth and jobs at the heart of its [EU] presidency."
President Barroso particularly welcomed the Irish presidency's decision to prioritise reaching an agreement on the Commission proposal on youth guarantee schemes, which aims to tackle youth unemployment and social exclusion.
He also stressed the need to finalise the agreement on the Single Supervisory Mechanism for banks before the end of January and to continue to work on this important sector especially through the proposals for a bank resolution mechanism that the Commission will propose during 2013. He also emphasised the importance of trade as a driver for growth.
On the multiannual budget for the EU, President Barroso said he is hopeful that the agreement can be reached in the next few weeks.
President Barroso concluded by commending Ireland for its unwavering commitment to implementing the economic adjustment programme and said that there is clear evidence that the commitment to reform is starting to pay off.